Introduction (contd)

srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImadh varavaramunayE nama:
srI vAnAchala mahAmunayE nama:

In the previous article (, we started discussing our guru paramparai.

emperumAn sriman nArAyaNan who is sriya:pathi (husband of sri mahAlakshmi), one who lives eternally in srivaikuntam with his divya mahishis (sri, bhoo, nILA dhEvis) where he is served by nithysUris like ananthan, garudan, vishwaksEnar, etc is full of auspicious qualities. Srivaikuntam (paramapadham) is a place of eternal bliss, but when emperumAn is enjoying there, his heart is with the jIvAthmAs in samsAram (since they are suffering there). All jIvAthmAs, a) nithyan – always in paramapadham (never been to samsAram due to karma), b) mukthan – one who was in samsAram but liberated now and c) badhdhan – one who is in samsAram bound by karma, are subservient to emperumAn and have the same relationship with emperumAn (owner – owned and father – son relationships primarily). It is out of this relationship alone emperumAn is helping all badhdha jIvAthmAs constantly to bring them to srIvaikuntam and engage them in eternal kainkaryam.

As sAstram explains, one needs to have real knowledge to be liberated. Real knowledge is clearly/crisply explained in rahasya thrayam. The one providing this real knowledge that liberates the jIvAthma from this bonding in samsAram is called AchAryan. Since this position of AchAryan is very glorious, emperumAn himself wants to be an AchAryan. That is why he became the prathama (first) AchAryan. It is explained by our pUrvAchAryas that emperumAn took the position of AchAryan in 3 places:

  • emperumAn took the form of nArAyaNa rishi (AchAryan) in badrikAshramam and revealed thirumanthram to his own avathAram Nara rishi (sishyan).
  • emperumAn revealed dvaya maha manthram to periya pirAtti (sri dhEvi nAchiar) in vishnu lOkam (thus starting our srivaishnava guruparamparai).
  • emperumAn, as pArtha sArathy, revealed charama slOkam to arjunan in kurukshEthram.

View comprehensive guru paramparai chart:

periya perumAL and periyapirAtti in thiruvarangam are the same as srIman nArAyaNan and srI mahAlakshmi. So, starting with periya perumAL, our OrAN vazhi guru paramparai goes in this order:

  1. periya perumAL (srIman nArAyaNan)
  2. periya pirAtti (srI mahAlakshmi)
  3. sEnai mudhaliAr
  4. nammAzhwAr
  5. nAthamunigaL
  6. uyyakkoNdAr
  7. maNakkAl nambi
  8. ALavandhAr
  9. periya nambi
  10. emperumAnAr
  11. embAr
  12. bhattar
  13. nanjIyar
  14. nampiLLai
  15. vadakku thiruvIdhi piLLai
  16. piLLai lOkAchAryar
  17. thiruvAimozhi piLLai
  18. azhagiya maNavALa mAmunigaL

AzhwArs and several other AchAryas also are considered to be part of our srivaishnava guru paramparai.

The AzhwArs in order are:

  1. poigai AzhwAr
  2. bhUdhathAzhwAr (bhUdhaththAzhwAr)
  3. pEyAzhwAr
  4. thirumazhisai AzhwAr
  5. madhurakavi AzhwAr
  6. nammAzhwAr
  7. kulasEkarAzhwAr
  8. periyAzhwAr
  9. ANdAL
  10. thoNdaradippodi AzhwAr
  11. thiruppANAzhwAr
  12. thirumangai AzhwAr

The AchAryas (who are not in OrANvazhi guru paramparai) include (but not limited to):

  1. selva nambi
  2. kurugai kAvalappan
  3. thirukkaNNamangai ANdAn
  4. thiruvarangapperumAL arayar
  5. thirukkOshtiyUr nambi
  6. periya thirumalai nambi
  7. thirumAlai ANdAn
  8. thirukkachi nambi (thirukkachchi nambi)
  9. mARanEri nambi
  10. kUrathAzhwAn (kUraththAzhwAn)
  11. mudhaliyANdAn
  12. aruLALa perumAL emperumAnAr
  13. kOil komANdUr iLayavilli AchAn
  14. kidAmbi AchAn
  15. vaduga nambi
  16. vangi purathu nambi
  17. sOmAsi ANdAn
  18. piLLai uRangAvilli dhAsar
  19. thirukkurugaippirAn piLLAn
  20. kUra nArAyaNa jIyar
  21. engaLAzhwAn
  22. ananthAzhwAn
  23. thiruvarangathu amudhanAr
  24. nadAthUr ammAL
  25. vEdha vyAsa bhattar
  26. srutha prakAsikA bhattar (sudharsana sUri)
  27. periyavAchAn piLLai (periyavAchchAn piLLai)
  28. eeyuNNi mAdhava perumAL (this includes the history of nampiLLai’s eedu mahA vyAkyAnam)
  29. eeyuNNi padhmanAbha perumAL
  30. nAlUr piLLai
  31. nAlUrAchAn piLLai (nAlUrAchchAn piLLai)
  32. naduvil thiruvIdhi piLLai bhattar
  33. pinbhazhagiya perumAL jIyar
  34. azhagiya maNavALa perumAL nAyanAr
  35. nAyanArAchAn piLLai
  36. vAdhi kEsari azhagiya maNavALa jIyar
  37. kUra kulOthama dhAsar
  38. viLAnchOlai piLLai
  39. vEdhAnthAchAryar
  40. thirunArAyaNapurathu Ay jananyAchAryar

After (and during) the period of maNavALa mAmunigal, many glorious AchAryas lived in our sampradhAyam including (but not limited to):

  1. ponnadikkAl jeeyar
  2. kOil kandhAdai aNNan
  3. prathivAdhi bhayankaram aNNan
  4. pathangi paravasthu pattarpirAn jIyar (paththangi paravasthu pattarpirAn jIyar)
  5. eRumbi appA
  6. appiLLai
  7. appiLLAr
  8. kOil kandhAdai appan
  9. srIperumbUthUr Adhi yathirAja jIyar
  10. appAchiyAraNNA
  11. piLLai lOkam jIyar
  12. thirumazhisai aNNAvappangAr
  13. appan thiruvEnkata rAmAnuja embAr jIyar and more

In the subsequent articles, we will go through the lives of these AchAryas as much as possible.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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45 thoughts on “Introduction (contd)”

  1. a detailed family tree of namperumanar and acharyas .Till now i was in dark but for some extent i know but not like this As a vasishnavan we should know the immedoiate acharyan and their ancestors like Gure paramparai .

    adiyen kannan dasan.

  2. swamy is doing an yeomen service by bringing about and publishing articles on Guruparampara …. In fact, this is one of the exclusive speciality of Srivaishnava sampradayam…. in which good amount of importance is given for guru-parampara….. Aacharya vamsavali…… Swamiyin kainkaryathirku adiyen siram thaazhththukiren

  3. Adiyen maduramangalam kanthadai srinivasavaradhan ramanuja dasan. After retirement from service now place of residence villivakkam chennai. My pranams to H.H. Peri a Kelviappanswami Swami, TIrumala, adiyen’s acharyan.
    Varadachariar swami at villivakkam our Prabhandham Acharyan. Our pranams to Varadachariar swami also. There is a trio, Parthasarathy swami, venkatesan swami and sundararajan swami, deeply committed to Bhagavath bhagavatha Kainkaryam in villivakkam. I am trying to follow them.

  4. How do you prove that krishna is paripurna in vishistaadvaita?…..
    because krishna only said that he is paripurna in bhagavath geetha…

    but ,according to vishistaadvaita…we are brahman,at the same time ,we are not paripurna…similar case applies to krishna…so,how is krishna paripurna in vishistaadvaita?

    • Dear Srivathsaji
      Looks like you are confused. The questions are un-related to this particular page.

      Let me try to explain.
      visishtAdhvaitha is one of the ancient philosophies presented by many saints and was accepted as the main foundation of srIvaishNava sampradhAyam. bhagavayh gIthA is one of the literature that is accepted as pramANam (authentic source) in this philosophy. So, what is said in bhagavath gIthA is fully accepted in visishtAdhvaitham which includes bhagavAn as paripUrNa (full) in all aspects as well.

      visishtAdhvaitha does not say “we are brahman,at the same time ,we are not paripurna…similar case applies to krishna” – this is your own words. I welcome you to study visishtAdhvaitha under learned scholars to get a good understanding of it before jumping into conclusions.

      adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

    • He is very much in our guru paramparai.
      If you are specifically asking about OrAN vazhi guru paramparai – these are the leaders of the sampradhAyam – one who carried the torch in succession. Many stalwarts like AzhwAn, ANdAn, periyavAchAn piLLai, vEdhAnthAchAryar, etc., are not in OrAN vazhi guru paramparai.
      adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

  5. From 3:30 pm till now [7:58pm] i went through the Oranvazhi acharyans, azhwars and other acharyans details. Thank you for the immense research you had carried out in this sphere. Will it be possible to find out about other acharyans who have established during the age? For instance Doddayachars, Jeeyars of Tirukkovalur, acharya at Brundavan who also manages the south indian style brundavan koil, et al.
    Also would it be possible to get the samayam [time period] of the published acharyans and azhwars so that I could straighten my record?
    Thank you very much.
    Adiyen Jana Ramanuja Dasan

    • thanks for the detailed observation/comments swamy.
      we do have some more information in few other websites maintained by sishyas of specific mutts/thirumALigais (like thirukkOvalUr jIyar, doddAchAryar, etc). Regarding the time period – its little bit difficult to trace many of the AchAryas, but adiyen shall try time permitting.
      adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

    • OrAN vazhi AchArya paramparai is the guru paramparai where the leadership is passed on from one person to another – starting with periya perumAL to maNavALa mAmunigaL. Though there may be multiple AchAryas prevalent at a particular time, a leader would preside over the sampradhAyam at that time. After mAmunigaL, the concept of single head of the sampradhAyam disappeared and multiple mutts/thirumALigais became prominent.
      adiyen sarathy raamanuja dasan

  6. Fantastic Work Swamin. You may not be aware as to how many people this information is a great knowledge and how many people would have got immensely benefited reading this Guruparampara. I loved and of course, I am one among those who got enlightened with the information. Wonderful work and Adiyen’s pranams (Shaastanga Namaskarams)

    Villur Nadathur Vijayasarathy (Triplicane)

  7. ஒரு சிறு சந்தேகம். எம்பெருமானார் ஏன் 74 சிம்மாசானாதிபகளை நியமித்தார். அதை ஏன் ஒராண்வழியாக ஒருவரிடம் கொடுக்கவில்லை. இந்த 74 பேருக்கு நியமித்த பணி என்ன? அவர்களுக்குக் கீழ் ஆச்சார்யப் பரம்பரை உருவாக்குவது எம்பெருமானாரின் நியமனப்படி கிடையாதா? கொஞ்சம் தெளிவு பெற உதவும்.
    ராமானுஜ தாசன் வில்லூர் நடாதூர் விஜயசாரதி (திருவல்லிக்கேணி)

    • dhanyosmi for the question.
      mAmunigaL explains this in upadhESa raththina mAlai –
      OrAN vazhiyAy upadhEsiththAr munnOr
      ErAr EthirAsar innaruLAl
      pArulagil Asai udaiyOrkkellAm AriyargaL kURum enRu
      pEsi varambaruththAr pin

      Previously (upto emperumAnAr’s time), it was coming down in OrAN vazhi only (where very few qualified people would be accepted into the sampradhAyam). emperumAnAr, out of his great compassion, established the 74 simhAsanAdhipathis, and directed them to share this great knowledge to everyone who is interested to learn. The OrAN vazhi AchAryas remained as the leader of the sampradhAyam during their times, yet, there were many AchAryas who actively spread the sampradhAyam in the nooks and corner of our bhArtha dhESams which is why we are seeing the presence of SrIvaishNava mutts and followers in the whole of our country, from North to south and from east to west.
      The purpose of these AchAryas is to spread the knowledge, accept Sishyas and develop those Sishyas to be very good SrIvaishNavas and continue the chain forever.
      adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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